Tips and Products For a Beautiful White Smile

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Having a beautiful white smile goes a long way in making you feel that you look your best! But if your pearly whites are no longer looking so white, there are many product options to whiten your teeth at home to get that healthy glow back and keep it without spending your whole budget. This article not only discusses products, but also health habits for you to follow to keep your teeth healthy. Healthy teeth = white teeth.

Beautiful white teeth help you bring out your natural beauty. Unfortunately our busy lives may often find us not taking care of our teeth as we should – either because of bad dental habits, by enjoying foods or drinks that can stain our teeth, or other bad habits – which can lead to a not so bright smile.
Over time teeth become stained from the foods we eat and drink, lifestyle and health habits and even from some antibiotics. As we age, the enamel, or white part, of our teeth thins and cracks. This causes staining two ways:
1. The dentin, or the underlying layer of the teeth, is a yellowish color which shows more as the enamel thins. This causes that yellowing look of the teeth.

2. The microscopic cracks and thinning provide places for the dark colors from food, beverages or smoking to set in, causing superficial staining.
However, using one of these methods to whiten your teeth at home, along with good dental hygiene, and regular cleanings by your dentist can give you the white teeth that make you feel good about your smile.
Methods to Whiten Your Teeth At Home
• Toothpastes/gels
• Strips
• Home teeth whitening kits/bleaching trays
• Natural remedies
Toothpastes and gels – There are many toothpastes, gels and liquids that can be purchased over-the-counter which will help remove surface stains. These products work by cleaning the stains from your teeth with mild abrasives, chemicals or polishing agents. They won’t change the color of your teeth as bleaching treatments do, they will clean the superficial stains which should be visible within a few days of beginning use.
Whitening Strips – Whitening strips are thin adhesive strips which are coated with a peroxide based whitening gel. Adhere the strips to your teeth and wear them a few minutes daily for a week or more. Some critics say that the results are not as dramatic as with at home bleaching kits because the strips may not stay put as well, causing the whitening gel to not stay in contact with your teeth as it does with a tray method. But the strips don’t require specialized trays and are easy to use. The results of this method should be visible within a few days.

Home Whitening Kits/Bleaching Trays – At home teeth whitening kits usually consist of trays that mold to your teeth and a peroxide-base gel which will remove both deep and surface stains. The small amounts of the gel are put into the tray which must be worn daily for 30 to 45 minutes for a week or more. This method will actually change the color of your teeth and should only be done after a good cleaning from the dentist and assurance that there are no dental problems, such as cavities or exposed roots. The results of this method can be seen once the regimen is complete, or in about a week.
Natural Remedies – Before at home teeth whitening products became the latest trend, your grandmother probably used baking soda and a toothbrush to whiten her teeth. There is also research that suggests that eating crunchy foods such as celery, apples, pears and carrots trigger lots of saliva which helps wash away food debris from your teeth and also neutralizes the acid that causes tooth decay. (See eating healthy is not just for your body, but for your teeth too.)

Less Bright Facts
Dental Work – manufactured teeth – such as bridges, crowns, veneers, bonding, and fillings – do not whiten with home teeth whitening methods so they won’t match any of the natural teeth that you whiten. You should consider this when deciding what to use, and when, to whiten your teeth so you can get your teeth a consistent color. You may need to invest in additional dental work such as veneers or bonding.
Sensitivity – many home teeth whitening methods can cause tooth sensitivity to hot or cold. The sensitivity is not permanent and will go away once the treatment regimen is complete. Some home teeth whitening products use a hydrogen peroxide base rather than carbamide peroxide which tends to be a little less irritating to the teeth and gums. Some kits also include desensitizing gel to help to numb the teeth and relieve some of the pain during the home whitening process.
Tooth Discoloration – remember that, as with many things, overdoing it won’t necessarily bring you the desired result. You should plan to whiten your teeth at home only once per year, with some possible one to two day touch ups. Whitening teeth too often can make them look translucent or blue, which is not reversible.
Once you complete the home whitening process, you can take steps to maintain your new white smile. Dark colored foods and beverages – such as red wine, juice, coffee and tea, dark colored berries and even tomato sauce can cause stains on your teeth. Realistically, you can’t avoid these items completely, so when you eat and drink food or drinks that discolor your teeth, rinse your mouth, or even brush & floss your teeth, right away to keep stains from setting. Don’t smoke and see your dentist for regular cleanings, and your at home teeth whitening should last you for up to a year.

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